Doctor Who: Season 16, Episode 5

The Pirate Planet: Part One (30 Sep. 1978)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 161 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 4 critic

Continuing their quest in search of the Keys to Time. The Doctor, Romana and K-9 travel to the cold planet "Calufrax" in search of the second segment to the Key to Time. But the TARDIS ... See full summary »



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Title: The Pirate Planet: Part One (30 Sep 1978)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Bruce Purchase ...
Andrew Robertson ...
Mr. Fibuli
Ralph Michael ...
David Sibley ...
David Warwick ...
Primi Townsend ...
Clive Bennett ...
Bernard Finch ...
Adam Kurakin ...
John Leeson ...
K9 (voice)


Continuing their quest in search of the Keys to Time. The Doctor, Romana and K-9 travel to the cold planet "Calufrax" in search of the second segment to the Key to Time. But the TARDIS accidentally lands on the planet Zanak, which is ruled by the robotic space pirate The Captain. Only to discover Zanak can travel across the galaxy and nobody on Zanak, isn't who they appear to be. Written by Daniel Williamson

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robot dog





Release Date:

30 September 1978 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is one of the few serials in the original run of the series never to have been novelized through publisher Target Books. Target approached author Douglas Adams on several occasions, but Adams (by then a bestselling author) was unwilling to work for the modest advance Target was offering to pay; Target, for their part, were unwilling to offer Adams a higher advance, for fear that other authors would demand more. Adams also refused to allow Target to have another author adapt his story. Adams also penned "Doctor Who: City of Death: Part One (1979)" and the uncompleted serial "Shada", neither of which have been novelized for the same reasons. See more »


[In the Captain's trophy room:]
The Captain: My trophies, Doctor. Feast your eyes on them, for they represent an achievement unparalleled in the universe.
The Doctor: What are they? Tombstones, eh? Memorials to all the worlds you've destroyed?
The Captain: Not memorials. These are the entire remains of the worlds themselves.
The Doctor: [not really listening] You come here to gloat on the wanton destruction you've wreaked on the universe.
The Captain: [to himself] I come in here to dream of freedom...
The Doctor: [realizing what he said earlier] Did you just say, "the ...
See more »


Referenced in 'Doctor Who': The Pertwee Years (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

it's Douglas Adams, how can you NOT see it?
4 June 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you're any stretch at all of a fan of Douglas Adams or his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you're either already a fan of Dr. Who or may come across this episode at some point or another. Hopefully this is the "some point". As someone who's only seen two or three episodes of Dr. Who- both 'old' and 'new'- this is top of the crop. Adams gets how to make it an interesting mystery for the good Doctor Tom Baker to figure out the problem of Calufrax with the section of the key of time they need. It's got some hilarious moments and lines of dialog that are quintessential Adams ("Plank. Theory: simple. Walk along it. Come to edge. Fall off 1000 feet. Die!"), and some cool looking creatures, and of course the Captain, who kicks ass as a dastardly Dr. Who villain.

Must, must see, all four parts of course.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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